The Great Equalizer

equalizer40videohiveWhen you listen to music, what is it about a particular sound that draws you in? Is it the drums, the horns, the synth, hi hat? Today music is so diverse, it’s SO hard to keep in touch with what’s hot.

I remember when music was Rap (East Coast/West Coast Styles), R&B (Soul Music), and Rock (Hard, Classic or Alternative). Now you have so many sub-cultures of music it’s ridiculous. Its like every part of the country has its own genre of music. I say don’t get so locked in on a specific genre that you forget what music is made to do. Music has the ability to bridge the gap of race, ethnicity, or area of the country/world you live in. Take a seat in my time machine and let’s take a trip back to the late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Specifically at Michael Jackson and the affect he had on people just through his music. I don’t care how you feel about him personally, I need for you to keep an open mind and trust me for this time I have your attention. 1485072

It didn’t matter where Michael Jackson went on this planet, EVERYBODY knew who he was and knew every lyric to his music. How powerful is that? You enter a country that can’t speak your native language, but has the ability to sing along with every single lyric you sing. Amazing! I know that a lot of you probably stopped reading as soon as I mentioned Michael Jackson, but you can’t deny the fact that no matter how he was perceived in the media, he was a true showman. He knew how to get people to forget about what color they were or where they were located on the social ladder, even if it was for 3-4 hours.

Maybe Michael Jackson was taken from this world, because the world stopped caring about his gift and started to focus on everything that made him look bad. Who knows? It’s not for you or I to figure out. We will see on Judgement Day. All I am doing is saying that music can be a great equalizer, if we let it. I don’t want you to only remember that I talked about Michael Jackson in this post. I want you to remember what music can do for us as human beings, period. A lot of people use music as an outlet and some are fortunate enough capitalize from that approach. Everybody has an opinion when it comes to their specific preference of music, which is good or bad.

Its all up to the you and I, the consumer. Maybe, someday, music will return to being an equalizer instead of the polar opposite. I can only hope that I have instilled into my children to keep an open mind and not to feel, because they are a certain ethnicity, they have to stick to a certain type of music. I listen to music that makes me happy, of course, depending on my mood and what I am trying to accomplish while listening to a certain song.

MUSIC + OPEN-MIND = PEACE

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How many of you out there are able to use music as an outlet? I do. It all depends on my mood. I don’t know what it is about music, but it stimulates my brain and takes me to a different level mentally. Almost every time I write a Blog Post I have music playing; whether it be playing from the computer or my phone. Some individuals see music as a distraction, especially while trying to focus on certain tasks that requires your full attention.

My wife can drive the car in silence. I can’t. If I don’t have any music playing, I get frustrated. While I drive, the music I play depends on my mood or my destination. I know that sounds weird, but let me explain it to you. If my wife asks me to go to the store for a certain item, I’m more than likely playing Rap. It can’t be any type of Rap, the song has to paint a picture for me. While I’m driving, I’m subconsciously painting the picture from the lyrics that the artist is trying to paint. It puts me in the zone and helps to keep me focused, alert and I feel that my senses are heightened and reflexes are quicker. There are certain songs that I listen that get my adrenaline pumping and I’m ready for anything. So I keep a playlist of that sort on my iPhone or  an mp3 disc. The reason I said I keep a playlist on my iPhone or mp3 disc is because it all depends on the vehicle I drive. If I am in the BMW I use the bluetooth feature to listen to music from my iPhone, but if I’m driving the Kia it has to be on an mp3 disc. A plus to driving the Kia is that I have 2 12 inch speakers in the back.

If I am going on a short trip with my family, I try to put together a playlist that everyone enjoys, but if I know that I’m going to get on the interstate then I have to listen to my playlist that pumps me up and keeps me alert. I feel that I have to do this is because some people can be real butt-holes while trying to merge or change lanes. My wife always tells me that I need to calm down, but YOU will not come up speeding behind me while in the left lane and I change lanes to let you pass and you jump in the middle lane in front of me and slow down. That’s a big muthafuckin’ NEGATIVE! That’s one thing I hate, wanna be speed demons. If you’re going to speed go ahead, do your thang, but don’t get in front of me and slow down. While on the interstate I usually drive 10 miles per hour above the posted speed limit. That’s why I get upset, I’m already going 80 mph and you speed up behind me just to get in front of me and slow down. KILL YA SELF! (Just Kidding).

While cleaning the house, I have to listen to some good ol’ old school R&B. You know, Johnny Gill, Anita Baker, Jodeci, Mint Condition, Shai, Boyz II Men, I could go on for days. The reason I play R&B while cleaning is because I grew up that way. On Saturday mornings while growing up, my mother would turn on the radio or put in a tape (yeah, a cassette tape, I’m old I know it!) of some good ol’ R&B and everyone commenced to cleaning. I guess I do it out of habit. I really don’t listen to the new-age R&B because some of it, well, a lot of it is not appropriate for children’s ears. I don’t want my girls listening to you sing about taking your time while you rub oil your lady’s body, trying to get her in the mood! I know when they get older, they will listen to different types of music and once they are grown, I can’t and won’t control the type of music they listen to. Don’t get me wrong, but I know that some of the old school R&B is the same way, but I make sure that I know the song and make sure if they are talking about sex or something of a sexual nature, it’s hidden. The only way you know it’s of a sexual nature is because you pick up on keywords.

When I was able to run and workout, it all depended on my mood. If 1SG was on my ass I would listen to some alternative, Green Day, Creed (Christian Rock, I know. It’s my Blog so I can put them in any category I want.), 30 Seconds to Mars, Nirvana, Linkin Park, No Doubt, as with R&B I could go on for days. Now if I’m having a decent day, I usually listen to a playlist of nothing but Rap while working out or running.

I do listen to Country Music. My Grandmother would listen to music while I was growing up and I thought she was crazy. I believed she was crazy was because I thought only individuals of a lighter pigment listened to Country. Now that I have grown up, I said let me give it a chance before making a judgement. I love it. I always thought that every Country artist sang about somebody killed their dog, their wife left them and they lost their job, but that’s not the case. Country music also has to have good content just like the other genres of music listed above. I’m sure people have the same opinion on Rap & R&B.

I love music and when I listen to it, I let it take me to another place, mentally. The great thing about music, in my opinion, is that no matter what type of mood you’re in, there is something that you can listen to that will bring you out of a funk or get you amped up. Music isn’t just for specific ethnicities, it’s for everyone. Sometimes Music gets a bad rap, no pun intended, because some of the media, some parents and some of the big businesses automatically blames the artist for the lyrics of their song or the Vibe their music puts out when something catastrophic happens, i.e. school shootings or a massacre that kills a good number of people. Yes, I believe that music affects all individuals in certain way, but I don’t believe that because N.W.A. made a song that says F*** Tha Police, that I will rebel against law enforcement. Music is an expression of the artist that writes the lyrics, produces the music  and should not be taken literally. Only if we could get everyone to understand that. As with anything you do in life, be careful and don’t let music influence you to do something that you will regret. You’re an “adult” so you should already know how to be responsible, right?

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